Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Rudstam, H., Strobel Gower, W., & Cook, L. (2012). Beyond yellow ribbons: Are employers prepared to hire, accommodate and retain returning veterans with disabilities?. Journal Of Vocational Rehabilitation, 36 (2), 87-95.
Title:  Beyond yellow ribbons: Are employers prepared to hire, accommodate and retain returning veterans with disabilities?
Authors:  Rudstam, H., Strobel Gower, W., & Cook, L.
Year:  2012
Journal/Publication:  Journal Of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-2012-0584
Full text:  http://www.worksupport.com/documents/Beyond%20Yellow%20Ribbons%20JV...   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Employers have expressed a willingness to employ veterans with disabilities. Given the fact that 5.5 million of working age veterans have a disability, it is important to understand what types of workplace practices will lead to ongoing and successful employment. This is particularly true for those who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury or post traumatic stress disorder, often known as the signature disabilities for service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Purpose:  The aim of the study was to examine the willingness of employers to employ veterans with disabilities, with a specific emphasis on those with TBI and PTSD.
Setting:  The survey was completed online across a variety of workplace settings.
Study sample:  A total of 1.083 human resource professionals completed the survey. Related to organization size, 45% had between 501 to 24,999 employees, 44% had less than 500 employees and 11% had more than 25,000 employees. In addition, the majority or 69% represented businesses in the private or public for profit sector.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  A survey was developed to examine the barriers employers faced when creating an inclusive workplace for veterans with disabilities. The instrument consisted of 33 questions and took about 10 minutes to complete. Response categories varied given the nature of the question asked. The survey was electronically sent out to 10,000 members of the Society of Human Resource Managers. A total of 1,083 members completed the survey. Procedures related to data analysis were not described.
Findings:  Respondents reported they believed employing veterans would benefit their businesses and they would perform as well as other workers. However, employers did not know about or use resources that may assist them in employing veterans. Furthermore, they were not aware of effective employment practices for employees with TBI or PTSD. Employers also reported lacking knowledge about disclosure of disability. Employers believed it would not only cost more to employ veterans with disabilities but they would take more time to manage. They also indicated they were unsure about whether or not veterans with PTSD would be violent in the workplace. The majority did not know about or use recruitment resources to attract job veterans with disabilities, and were not familiar with accommodating workers with PTSD or TBI.
Conclusions:  Employers expressed an willingness to employ veterans with disabilities. They will need more than information and resources to employ veterans with disabilities. More research is needed about how to support employers to employ veterans with disabilities, including those with TBI and PTSD.

Disabilities served:  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)